I teach all my students that one of the first steps, in planning to be prepared, is assessment of your mission or situation. What are you trying to prepare for? In many cases, you’re just planning to get home. Now, that situation will change (think environment or climate) from different times of the year or different areas where you may travel. In turn, the gear that you should carry will also change. However, certain essentials stay the same (we’ll cover them in another video). One of those essentials, is the need for illumination.
At a minimum, a rugged flashlight is needed. A good headlamp is another fine option, as it allows hands-free use. Both these items, for me personally, can be found in every layer of my gear and are found in all my vehicles (who doesn’t need a flashlight?).
Now, I’m not big on the phrase “Bug Out Bag.” I prefer to think of it more as a “Get Home Bag” or a “What If” bag. No matter what you call it, it should be constantly tailored to the mission at hand. I like to use the stuff in the bag, replacing/updating as needed. This keeps items from expiring, and keeps the knowledge of their use fresh in my head. Remember, knowledge is a great weapon/tool.
I’m a big fan of Night Vision Devices (NVDs). There’s a reason why our SOF forces own the night. Our warfighters not only have the best generations of NVDs that money can buy, but they also train with them constantly. So, it goes without saying, I like to keep good NVDs around.
In my travel bag, you’ll find a monocular NVD, a few batteries, and a small head harness. I like a monocular NVD, for ease of weight/space, and the fact that I don’t lose depth perception or night vision with both eyes. Brands or manufacturers don’t matter to me, though I do tend to lean towards certain companies that I work with. My intent is not to advertise or bad-mouth particular brands. If you really want my input; contact me off-line, and I’ll point you towards a great company that will get you great deals on all NVD types.
I would rather focus on you getting the best NVD that your budget can afford. Buy it, and then train with it. Take it with you… use it… find its limitations. NVDs are fun to play with. Enjoy the fruits of the money you invested. Then, when the time comes, you’ll already be familiar with how to properly employ it. You, too, can own the night.